Boating in the Great Lakes Region
Coast Guard Station - Saint Joseph
Charter Boats in Michigan
Fish of the Great Lakes
Harbors of Lake Michigan
Harbors and Harbors of Refuge
Lake Michigan Forum
NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
Great Lakes Boating
Great Lakes - US of Army Corps of Engineers
Great Lake States Boat Shows
Secretary of State - Watercraft Registration
US Environmental Protection Agency - Michigan
Lake Michigan Facts
Lake Michigan, the second largest Great Lake by volume with just under 1,180 cubic miles of water,is the only Great Lake entirely within the United States. Approximately 118 miles wide and 307 miles long, Lake Michigan has more than 1,600 miles of shoreline. Averaging 279 feet in depth, the lake reaches 925 feet at its deepest point. The lake's northern tier is in the colder, less developed upper Great Lakes region, while its more temperate southern basin contains the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas. The drainage basin, approximately twice as large as the 22,300 square miles of surface water, includes portions of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Lake Michigan is hydrologically inseparable from Lake Huron, joined by the wide Straits of Mackinac.
Boat shows are fun for the whole family. Boating is a great family activity and boat shows are exciting, family oriented events that include plenty of fun for youngsters. Kids love exploring the new boats with their parents climbing aboard, taking a seat at the helm and pretending, to be the captain of a great ship. Most shows also include kid friendly exhibits such as trout fishing and feature kids play areas with games, contests and more to entertain them.
Whether you are buying, browsing or learning, a boat show is a great place to start. Boat shows give you a chance to see what is new and keep current on what is the latest trends. Of, course, it is great fun to see the latest and greatest and to imagine which luxury cruiser you will climb aboard when your ship finally does come in.
Boat shows are great places to shop and compare. Few, if any, dealerships can offer the assortment and hands on shopping experience of even the smallest boat show. You will see many boat types and can easily compare cost, size, features and warranties of the models that interest you most. And, with so many dealers under one roof, vying for your business, the competitive atmosphere can really benefit your bottom line. If you are new to boating there is really no better place to educate yourself on the many options available so you can make a smart decision when you do buy.
While the bulk of exhibitors at any boat show are manufacturers and dealers who are there to sell their wares, many non-profit and volunteer boating organizations also exhibit. From environmental to law enforcement to boating safety, these groups offer valuable information to both new and experienced boaters. Show producers themselves often sponsor seminars and hands-on demonstrations on topics ranging from fishing to navigation. It is a great way to educate yourself on the many aspects of boating and it is all included in the cost of your ticket.
1. Life Jackets. You are required to have a U.S.Coast Guard approved life jacket for everyone onboard. Federal Law states that children under the age of 13 are required to have a PFD on whenever the boat leaves the dock (some exceptions).
750 people died in boating accidents in the United States last year, according to the USCG. 85% of those who drowned were NOT wearing a life jacket, even though, in most cases, PFDs were aboard at the time of the accident.
It's not good enough to stow a PFD or just sit on it, you've got to wear it! There is rarely enough time to grab a life jacket, much less get it on before you are in the water. Accidents happen unexpectedly and quickly. With today's new, lightweight inflatable and other comfortable designer PFDs, there is no longer ANY excuse for not wearing a life jacket.
Life jackets float, you don't! Wear them!
2. Take a boating safety course. They're educational, fun and available at little or no cost. I know for a fact that the United States Power Squadrons teach everything from basic boating to costal piloting to celestial navigation.
3. Follow the Navigation Rules. You need to know all about beacons and buoys, "Red Right Returning", which boat is the "Stand-on vessel", which boat is the "Give-way vessel" and so on. It wouldn't be a good idea to drive a car and not know what any of the road signs mean. Likewise, it's not a good idea to drive a boat and not have a clue as to what the "signs" mean.
4. Get a Vessel Safety Check. A Vessel Safety Check is a non-enforcement, courtesy examination of your vessel to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and/or federal regulations. The examiners are specially trained members of the United States Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. In addition to the Vessel Safety Exam itself, the VSC examiner will also discuss other safety issues that will help make you a safer boater. Vessels that pass the VSC exam can display the distinctive VSC Decal on the port side of the windshield.
5. DON'T BOAT UNDER the INFLUENCE! Boating Under the Influence (BUI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) are both just as dangerous and deadly as drinking and driving a car. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs everywhere on the North American continent and in most of the rest of the world. There are stringent penalties involved with BUI / BWI Laws, which can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and/or jail terms. Authorities are not kidding about enforcing this!
6. NEVER leave a small child unattended on a boat or on the docks of a marina. A life jacket on a child is a must, BUT IT IS NOT a babysitter! None of us would ever consider letting one of our children participate in any sport without the proper, protective, safety equipment. Nor would we intentionally let them go into harm's way. Thus, we need to take that same attitude about boating safety for our children and grandchildren.
Remember, Captain, you're in command. Make sure that you and your crew return to your dock the same number of times that you leave it!
For more information click on the following links: Safe Boating
Boat & Slip Rules
IPM BOAT SLIP SAFTEY RULES & REGULATIONS:
1. Boat owner agrees to follow all procedures, rules, and regulations in effect stated here within or adopted at any time during the term of the lease by the Island Pointe Marina Condominium Association (hereinafter, "IPM").
2. Boat Owner agrees to abide by all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations in connection with use of the slip.
3. Boat owner agrees that the vessel will be kept in ordinary repair and maintained so as not to present any unusual or increased risk of explosion, sinking, or any other threat to surrounding persons or property. Owner agrees to immediately salvage any vessel that sinks in the slip or in the river/channel adjacent to the slip.
4. Boat owner shall exercise the utmost care in the operation of the vessel within the slip space. Owner shall furnish lines to safely secure the vessel under all conditions, including severe storm conditions, and hereby warrants that said lines shall be adequate in number, size strength, and condition to safely secure the vessel under such conditions.
5. Owner shall not damage, nor cause or permit others to damage the slip, pilings, docks, dock boxes, or other areas or structures.
6. Owner agrees to hold IPM harmless and to indemnify IPM from all loss, damage, expense, or liability, including attorney fees, incurred, suffered, or claimed by reason of any injury, loss or damage to any person or property within the premises of IPM or the vessel slip caused by Owner's use of the vessel slip or Owner's negligence in securing or operating the vessel within the premises of IPM, including any injury, loss or damage off the premises caused by the vessel coming or breaking loose for any reason.
7. Owner shall obtain and visibly display as required a vessel/slip identification number on Owner's vessel in accordance with regulations issued by Island Pointe Marina Condominium Association. Owner shall provide to the Associationís Administrator the boat and state boat registration number, and for documented vessels any other number issued by the United States Coast Guard or other regulatory agency.
8. Owner shall not store supplies, materials, or equipment on docks. Refuse or trash will not be thrown overboard but placed in plastic bags in discarded in trash containers provided.
9. No person will discharge bilge water that contains oil, flammable liquids, or one that produces sheen upon marina waters. All vessels with installed toilet facilities must be equipped with USCG approved sanitation devices. No discharge of raw sewage is permitted.
10. Owners will cooperate in keeping noise to a minimum. Practice discretion when operating engines, generators, etc. so as not to create a nuisance. Island Pointe Marina is a residential community not a vacation resort.
11. Pets must be on leash at all times when not on vessel.
12. Violations of the above rules and regulations, disorderly conduct by an owner or guest, and actions that may cause injury to a person or damage to property at IPM, will be cause for action to be taken by the IPM Association Board of Directors and IPM Harbor Master.
Whether your boat is small or large, an outboard, inboard, or oar powered, safety must be a primary concern each time you step aboard. The U.S. Coast Guard makes these recommendations:
- Carry all safety equipment required by federal and state laws. In addition, carry a first-aid kit, manual pump or bailer, paddles or oars, anchor and line, and drinking water. A cell phone can also be very useful.
- Handle fuels carefully to avoid fires and explosions. Test and inspect for fuel leaks periodically. Keep fire extinguishers handy and in good condition.
- Before starting, leave a float plan with someone reliable.
- Distribute weight evenly, especially on a small boat. Don't overload. Most capsizing occurs on small boats because of weight shifts.
- Personal floatation devices (PFDs) should be worn by children and non-swimmers at all times. Everyone should wear them if conditions become hazardous.
- Don't operate a boat if you're fatigued, stressed, or intoxicated. These factors cause more than half of all boating accidents.
- Post a lookout in order to avoid collisions.
- Travel at safe speeds, and give skiers and divers a wide berth.
- Head for shore if the weather turns bad.